Features Research Archives

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Wonderful World of Willys Wagons

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website, Willys Wagons This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

I was doing a search for Wagon axles when I found this Wagon-based website:  Wonderful World of Willys Wagons.  It’s got some interesting, funny, silly stuff, including a description of a sprung front wagon clip.  There’s a section of trains and jeeps titled Geeps & Jeeps.  This site could easily  be called the goofy world of wagons.

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Paul Readies His Radiator

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Paul made good progress recently with the radiator installation.  I’ll let him explain …

Paul writes, “During the past few days I’ve been busy scrounging metal, making parts and playing with the welder but the end result is the Willys has an M 151 radiator installed along with a V type firewall to radiator brace and a hood hold open rod.  I also picked up my new radiator from the local military surplus yard in addition to a used shroud and the necessary lower mounts.  The new radiator will reside safely in the house until it’s time to be installed after I quit taking things apart for modifications and redesigns but the size of this radiator is just about perfect for the room available under the hood.  I’ll have to spend some time at the local autoparts store mixing and matching coolant hoses before the engine is plumbed to the radiator and I also have to go shopping for a low profile electric fan (a puller is what I’m hunting for) but both of these tasks can be solved with reasonable amounts of money so I’m feeling pretty good with my progress so far. ”

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Aqualu Industries and Aluminum Bodies

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

I knew there were aluminum bodies for flatties, but I discovered today that Aqualu manufactures a wide range of aluminum bodies, including a flattie, CJ-5, CJ-6 and more.  Check out all the different bodies at their website.

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Roosevelt, Morocco & an MB

• CATEGORIES: Features, Library Collections, Old Images, War Images • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Here’s a couple images from the Library of Congress showing President Roosevelt cruising the American troops in Morocco.

Here’s one image:  http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8e01227

Here’s a second image: morocco2: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8e01229

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Paul is finally chillin’

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Reader Stories • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

A trip to the local Military show turned out to be just what Paul needed.  BTW Paul, you don’t owe us anything.  You are putting on a show for us up there in “The Last Frontier (which is the official state nickname)”.  No doubt there’s a few readers who might benefit from this mod.

Paul, take it away!  “This past weekend the local military vehicle collectors had a show at a car dealership near my house for the general public and it was free so I went.  Before leaving the house I grabbed my camera and a steel tape just incase I ran across a shining gem of a radiator nestled among the antique olive drab metal.  In addition to the WWII Willys and Ford Jeeps on display, the Dodge command cars, M 38’s and M 38 A1’s there were a couple of M 151’s and one of them had it’s hood up.  Naturally I began checking out the radiator, first by eye and then measuring the height, width and thickness and ending up on my back under this Mutt where I noticed the radiator was a bottom mount.  Most interesting!

The original M 38 radiator is a bottom mount with a top mount brace rod, it’s 21 1/4 inches wide by 19 inches high and 5 inches thick.  These dimensions are overall and they include the radiator cap.  The core dimensions are 13 inches high by 20 inches wide and 3 inches thick.

The M 151 radiator is a bottom mount with a top mount brace rod, it’s 20 1/2 inches wide by 19 inches high and about 4 inches thick (I didn’t measure the metal shroud so I’m guessing here) and once again these measurements are overall.  The core is 13 1/2 inches high by 19 1/4 inches wide by 2 inches thick.

Both radiators have a drivers side inlet (top) and a passenger side outlet (bottom).

Gentlemen, we have a winner !!!!!!

For the past 55 years E. A. Patson Parts and Equipment has been dealing in new and used surplus military vehicles and parts here in Anchorage but Elmer Patson is 86 years old (his son, Rod, is only 63 but he’s been working at the business since he was 12) and would like to retire so everything’s for sale.  I asked about M 151 radiators and they have both new and used radiators.  I was able to borrow a used radiator so I could do a bit of metal massaging and fabricate a lower mount and the top brace rod and when the snow melts some and they can get into one of their outbuildings where the new radiators are stored I’ll buy one of those.  For now this used radiator will allow me to continue my progress with the Willys resurrection until the end of March when I’ll officially declare the winter to be over and it will be time to do outside (summer) projects.

Thanks again to all the Willys fans for their much appreciated suggestions, ideas and help.  I look forward to the day when I can return the favor, but until then I owe you.

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Mr. White Brings Home His Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Here’s a short article about a Veteran of WWII named Mr. M C White.  He was assigned a Jeep with only 7 miles on it during the war and proceeded to drive it for 3 years, through battles all over Europe.  I don’t see a period at the end of the last sentence, so I suspect this article might be longer than it appears?

This article is from the front page of the July 19, 1946 issue of the Mt. Pleasant, Ia, Newspaper [The Mt. Pleasant News].  Thanks to Bruce for the article.

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Paul has lost his cool .. in a manner of speaking

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, News, Reader Stories • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Paul continues to make progress on his Stainless M-38.  However, he recently ran into a problem getting the radiator he needs.

He needs some ideas or suggestions.

I’ll let him explain:

Paul writes, “I’ve run into a bit of a problem with my perpetual Willys project and I need information and ideas.  I ordered a brand, spanking new radiator from KaiserWillys for the Buick odd fire engine I installed in my M38 thinking this was the best way to prevent overheating and additional problems down the road.  Boy, was I wrong!

The KaiserWillys catalog lists the Buick 225 radiator as being 17 inches high, 21 and 7/8 inches wide and 1 and 1/2 inches thick which is just about the perfect size for the space available under the hood.  Just to make sure I checked their online site and discovered a cautionary note mentioning this radiator could be either 17 inches or 22 inches wide and I was to let them know which width I needed.  To avoid any misunderstandings I called KaiserWillys and, after confirming the 17″h X 21 7/8″ w X 1 1/2” t, I placed an order for a radiator.  I even called back after I ordered it just to confirm the dimensions.  As I mentioned in a previous email I was told the radiator wouldn’t be done until the end of Feb. (I ordered the radiator the 15th of Feb.) and I was very surprised and pleased when the UPS guy delivered the radiator the afternoon of Feb. 19th.  The next day I carefully removed the radiator from the box and placed it into position.  Not only didn’t the radiator fit but the radiator cap was about 5 inches above the level of the hood.  Not good at all.

How’d they mess that up?

The radiator was 21″ high, not the needed 17″ so I called KaiserWillys again and it turns out the dimensions listed in their catalog, the dimensions listed on their web site and the dimensions they gave me over the phone are all wrong.  Not only did the radiator have to be sent back but Mike told me they won’t deal with radiators for the Buick 225 engine and he was sorry but he knows of no source for this radiator.  I’m not trying to pin the blame on anyone, I just want to find a this radiator which will fit my Jeep and allow me to attach an electric fan on the engine side without hitting the waterpump pulley.

My questions to you are

1. do you know the original size of the CJ5 radiator with the Buick V6 and did the Jeepster (Commando actually I guess) use the same size radiator?

2. Do you know where I might be able to purchase a used radiator (new would be better but I don’t think that will happen) even if it needs to be recored?

I realize I could notch the front crossmember and move the radiator forward (after trimming the shroud) but I’ll save this as a last resort.  The chances of me finding an original V6 powered Jeep here in the Great White North are pretty slim but I’m going to look anyway.”

My ideas

I told Paul that I ran a Pinto radiator with a buick 225 in my first Jeep.  I’ve also found some new radiators for sale for various 1980s buick cars. Here’s what I wrote Paul, “I found some other options using thefind.com.  I searched for ‘buick v6 radiators’. Here’s a radiator for a buick regal that is $89.  It is an aluminum 20-3/4 x 16-7/8 x 1-1/4, 1 ROW (and I’m assuming that is 20-3/4 wide, which isn’t safe to assume as you well know).  http://www.shepherdautoparts.com/autoparts/all_aluminum_radiator/buick/regal/w5HDm8OWw5TDl8K7w5rDksORw5HCosKi.htm.

Anyone else have ideas?

While you think about it, you can marvel at more of Paul’s handiwork – A table made with stainless legs and Ancient Kauri wood, along with a wall hanging from the same wood.  About it he writes, “Naturally the table legs are fabricated from stainless in a truss pattern.  Each leg is made up of 30 individual parts (not counting the attaching hardware) and by the time I was all done fitting and filing these parts I’d spent 78 hours just making the legs.  The wood took many more hours because ultrafine sanding is necessary to get the best grain activity>  After sanding the wood to 1500 grit I applied numerous coats of clear marine varnish (Interlux 95), wet sanded the varnish to 3000 grit and then finished it off by hand polishing the varnish.”

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Kevin & Steve Spot the same VEC CJ-2A While on Vacation

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: Kevin from the UK wrote me today to say that he spotted the same CJ-2A Kevin saw while on vacation on Maui in 2002.  Too funny!  He also took a picture and provided it for our viewing pleasure.  Thanks Kevin!

Steve was visiting Hawaii a few years ago and spotted this VEC CJ-2A on the island of Maui in Hawaii.  There can’t be too many of these on the island!

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Builds: John’s Family — Adoption Complete

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE:  John informed that he successfully adopted a 1959 CJ-5 that will complete his ‘family’.  It looks like it’s a great, straight CJ with a good foundation for a rebuild.  Congrats John!

John writes, “Dave, Our new family arrival, a 59 cj5. This unit came without eng. & trans & fer. It will get a Dauntles & org. trans & fer, & O/D. I’ll replace all floor pans , the rest of the tub is very good. It will get a four point cage. Disc front brakes, 11″ rear. Painted to match its stable mates.”

Here’s a few pics:

John shared this ‘family’ photo with me.  He noted that he’s hoping to adopt a 1959 CJ-5 to complete the family. You can see pics of ‘Brownie’ (CJ-3A) here.  And, some closeups of Brownie here.


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1978 LUAZ 967 M amphibious military vehicle, Oklahoma **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Other 4x4s, Unusual This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $15,000

I can’t imagine there are too many Russian amphibious vehicles in the United States.  Apparently this is the 4wd version of the Luaz.

“Used,  made in USSR amphibious ,  lightweight , air-dropable ( with parachute of course  😉 helicopter-transportable military vehicle.Used as a light  medevac vehicle . 3 seats, or driver + 700 lbs cargo. Powered by air-cooled 1,2 liter gasoline  engine, Runs on unleaded gas with lead substitute.4×4 , manual transmission,locking differential, off-road gear. Front winch =300 lbs load. Speed on road 50 mph water – 5 mph.Can cross lakes, river with current up to 7 mph. Can swim up to 900 ft.Has 12 Volts  bilge pump on board  Has clean Oklahoma title, Drivable, but brakes need be fixed, Canvas in fair conditions need to be replaced. Some rust, vehicle was on storage for last 12 months.I hate to sell it, but wife says ,, Too many army cars here “This is  real deal Is  90% orginal just like army vehicle supposed to be, Used by former East -German NVA  parachute regiment . Has maintenance manual in German.”


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What Would You Do with Old Bumper Cars?

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Thanks to Tommy for forwarding me this unusual story.  The story is that Californian Tom Wright had an opportunity to save these bumper cars from the Long Beach Pike Amusement Park from going to the dump. According to the coolthings.com website, “he took out the Harley motors, replaced it with 750cc Honda and Kawasaki boxes, and redesigned them to pass city driving standards.  His fleet now consists of eight crazy-looking street bumper cars (culled from different amusement parks), all licensed to give your hottest ride a run for its money.”  The rumor is that these could theoretically hit 160mph.  Personally, I will let someone else find that out!

The below image is from the coolthings.com website and the other pics are from an email circulating around the internet.

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Gerald finds some Flat Fender Toys

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Gerald reports that Lego has put out some Toy Story Flat Fender Toys.  He found some other Lego flatties, too.

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Why read eWillys? For Amazing Deals like this one … CJ-3B **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE:  Breatt reports this CJ-3B Sold.   I’ll keep this post around just to give people faith that there are still great deals out there!!

It was available for $1700.  It runs, it has on Overdrive, it is straight.  This won’t last the weekend.  It does have an L-head rather than an F-head though.  Kudos to Brett for spotting this one! If I had a trailer, I would have left tonight to go get this myself. Oh, this one’s painful ….

“This Jeep runs fairly well. Original motor and drive train. It has been driven 4 or 5 times a year for the past 10 years. $1700.00 OBO.”

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Jeep Tracks Paskenta, Ca **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Tires and Rims, Unusual This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $400.

James found these unusual tracks last night. He gave the seller a call today, only to discover that while the Tracks were $400, the steering mechanism was going to be extra. These are about 500lbs a piece, so shipping is an unlikely option. You can learn more about these Tracks here: http://www.offroaders.com/tech/jeep/Jeep-Wagner-Trac-Tank-Tracks.htm

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The DJ-3A vs the DJ-3A Gala vs the DJ-3A Surrey

• CATEGORIES: DJ-3A, Features, videos, Women & Jeeps • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE:  Bruce let me know that there were three different windshields sported by the DJ-3A:

1. The typical 3A type with the vent that opens up;

2. It also came with what is referred to as the 3B WS frame. That green jeep (see below) probably has it’s original WS frame;

3. The 3rd style is the ventilating WS frame that is similar to the 2a frame in
that the glass tilts outward. This 3rd type is very rare and I have only
seen one DJ with the 3rd style


I’ve been meaning to write this history of sorts about the DJ-3A ever since I received this information from Bruce last October.  Many thanks to Bruce for his tireless effort to understand the DJ-3A and his desire to share this information with the world-at-large.

I would still not consider this post finished, as I’m sure a few of you have some interesting details to add or correct.


My goal here is to take Bruce’s information and organize it in a way to make sense of this strange thing called the DJ-3A Dispatcher Gala Surrey Not-quite-a-CJ-3A colorful Jeep.   I want to differentiate between these three models — DJ-3A/DJ-3A dispatcher, DJ-3A Gala, and the DJ-3A Surrey — so that I can better evaluate these vehicles when I run across them for sale.

So, let’s begin:

One of the more confusing series of jeeps I’ve encountered are the DJ-3A, the DJ-3A Gala and the DJ-3A Surrey. However, thanks to both information from Bruce (who also supplied Derek Redmond with much of the DJ-3A Gala Surrey information and pics on the CJ-3B Page) and an article in the December 2009 issue of Vintage Truck Magazine, I *think* I have a much better feel for this topic.

Importantly, and for clarification, based on all the research I have reviewed, there appears to be no such thing as a DJ-3A Gala Surrey (and I’m as responsible as anyone for describing them that way).  The literature I have received from Bruce refers to either a DJ-3A Gala or a DJ-3A Surrey.  The Gala’s were promoted as Gala’s at the international resorts and Hawaii (which became a state in 1959, which might explain why this was being handled like an international sale).

The DJ-3A was introduced in 1955. It used the body style of the older CJ-3A, along with the L-134 engine. Unlike the CJ-3A, it came with either a column shift or top loader three-speed T-96 manual transmission. It was offered with many different body options including a soft top, hard top, or even a full van body.  Some of these body options made changes to the body necessary, including some that had no tailgates so the spare tire could mount in the rear.

Others, like the DJ-3A Dispatchers, had differently shaped passenger and driver sides to allow easy entry & exit of the vehicle (I assume those were the reasons).  With all these different body options, it is no wonder many of us, and yours truly as well, were confused about what constitutes a DJ-3A.

Thus far, everything I’ve learned suggests that there were no 4wd DJ-3A’s produced.  So, if you encounter a 4wd DJ-3A, it’s been modified.

Probably, the most distinctive, unique, and consistent body attribute of a DJ-3A is the large speedometer, similar to the CJ-5 and the post-1955 CJ-3B speedometers.  It was the only ‘low hood’ flat fender produced with the large speedometer.


Below is a Convertible DJ-3A.  You can see the lack of 4wd in the front.  Click on the picture to see more pictures.  Though I thought the below windshield was from a CJ-3B, Bruce provided a correction to that statement.  He says some DJ-3As came with a 3B SW Frame, and he believes that’s what we are looking at in this pic.

Here’s an example from Chris of a DJ-3A without a tailgate.

Here’s a DJ-3A Dispatcher example (note cutout sides) with a tail gate:

And here’s another nice dispatcher with a top:


In early 1959, the DJ-3A Gala was introduced and marketed to vacation locations in an attempt to offer rentable transportation solutions for vacationers visiting resorts.  According to the article below, the idea was the brain child of the Las Brisas Resort in Acapulco, Mexico, which painted a few jeeps pink and offered them to consumers.  Louis Yocich, a Willys dealer, spotted them and brought the idea back to the factory.  To this day, the Las Brisas resort and hotel still refers to itself as a ‘Pink and White Paradise” (see quality control comment).

MUCH MUCH More information.  This post was simply too big to put on the front page:

Continue reading

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Quinn’s new Trailer Advertiser

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Builds, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Quinn dropped me a note today.  He just finished a new project and wanted to share it with us.  Does this mean your you and your wife can write off the jeep? Thanks for sharing!

Quinn writes, “I finally finished my mobile billboard advertising trailer (see attached pictures).  I use my M38 to pull it around town when running errands …… it generates leads for my wife’s real estate business.

NOTE: The base utility trailer was purchased from Harbor Freight  [ed note: maybe this one?] for $150 and the vertical box and rear door were made using 90 degree angled steel strips.  It’s fairly light weight and due to the short length of the Jeep, the entire rig fits into house garages, parking structures and street parking spaces.  The trailer also has an 875lb load capacity which makes it convenient for carrying camping gear or the occasional BBQ equipment/supplies.”

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Postcards from the Past

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Postcards This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Gerald forwarded me some classic offroad postcards he owns.  He says he’s got some more and I look forward to see them!  These three cards take us across the country.

We start at Cape Cod:

Here is a card from South Dakota:

Finally, here’s a shot from the Oregon Dunes.

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V for Victory — Anthracite Rallies in 1942

• CATEGORIES: Features, Library Collections, War Images • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

In this image, a large number of jeeps have been parked on a baseball field.  The headlights display a V for victory. I searched for other pics or other information about these rallies, but didn’t stumble onto anything.

According to the Library of Congress, this is an Anthracite rally.  The Jeep headlights form V for victory at a night rally for Pennsylvania anthracite miners in Wilkes-Barre on September 29th, 1942. Similar rallies were held in other anthracite area cities from September 28th through October 1st 1942.

Library of Congress

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Won’t you be my Valentine

• CATEGORIES: Features, News This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Tim, from willysjeep.com, shared this Valentine message.  You can download the full-size image from his site.  He’s hoping to collect more old willys cards for holiday enjoyment.  Tim also let me know that he has an agreement that will allow him to share some more great content.

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Images of Alaska

• CATEGORIES: Features, News • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

When Paul isn’t working on his Stainless M-38, he travels Alaska repairing airplanes.  He often brings along his camera and he recently sent me some of his pics.  Here’s 3 images by Paul that caught my eye.  Paul didn’t send any names to accompany his images, so I’ve presumptively added by own names:

I call this one — Ran When Parked

I call this one — Ran When Beached

And finally — Too Damn Cold to Run

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Airfield Security during WWII in Hawaii — LOC

• CATEGORIES: Features, Library Collections, Old Images, War Images • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

I really like the composition of this image.  One thing I had not seen before was a gun mounted to the windshield.  I guess they didn’t drop the windshield?

“Four men in a jeep at the Dusty Hollow Training Center included the following members of an airfield security detachment in Hawaii. Front seat (left to right): Private Lester H. Howell, Statesville, North Carolina and Private First Class Thomas Irvin, North Ashville, Tennessee. And rear: Private Arthur W. Blakemore, Saint Louis, Missouri and Private First Class Donald Wilson, Sanford, Florida” — Library of Congress

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Pics from Fort Riley, Kansas

• CATEGORIES: Features, Library Collections, Old Images • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

These images of maneuvers out of  Fort Riley, Kansas, are some of the most calvary-like jeep pics I think I’ve seen.  I suppose the older army cavalry hats contribute to that, too.  These are all shot by photographer Jack Delano and hosted at the Library of Congress.

I seem to have the wrong LOC links, so I’ll have to grab them tomorrow and add them.

Library of Congress:

Library of Congress:

Library of Congress:

Library of Congress:

Library of Congress:

Library of Congress:

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Builds: Eric’s 1942 GPW

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, GPW (Ford MB) This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Born in Normandy (near Saint-Lo), France, Eric says he always wanted to have a Jeep.  While serving in the French Marines, he got the opportunity to drive Jeeps — In Africa and other places — which only only served to worsen his desire for a Jeep (yes, became a victim of the ‘Willys Sickness’).

Finally, in 1997, he found a 1942 GPW in the town of Carentan that needed restoration.  If Eric is like the rest of us, he probably felt it would only take a year or two to restore it (I don’t have any pre-restoration pics); instead, the restoration took 7 years.  However, the results speak for themselves — it’s a beautiful Jeep he named the Belly Flopper and in which he travels the countryside whenever he gets the chance.

While Eric’s family still lives in the Normandy area, Eric has moved to the central area of France, which is a bit cooler, especially in the winter.  The reason Eric and I exchanged emails initially was because he was searching for a heater.  I gave him some links on some newer heater options, but had no luck with any early heaters.  If you know of any for sale, he still might be interested in purchase them.  Just add a comment below and I’ll contact you.

Thanks for sharing Eric!

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Rubber Drive during WWII

• CATEGORIES: Features, Library Collections, Old Images, War Images • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

According to the Library of Congress, there was a serious scarcity of crude rubber, so reclaimed rubber made from scrap was required to meet demands. All Americans were encouraged to donate used or worn out rubber articles to the nation’s scrap piles.

As part of that campaign, Judy Canova, star of stage and screen, opened her personal salvage drive for scrap rubber in September 1942 by donating her personal slingshot to the drive.  Behind here is an image I’ve seen before, but I’ve never seen it used as part of the ‘Save Rubber’ campaign.

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De-icer + Snow System = Power Boost?

• CATEGORIES: Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

While doing some other research, I found this interesting blog entry about the benefits of a Water Methanol Injection System.  One of the more unique aspects of this is that the ‘fuel’ is simply de-icer purchased from Autozone.  My question would be, why install a separate container;  instead just tap into the existing de-icer container (of course, most jeeps don’t have these in the first place).

Mr. Greenwrench writes on his blog, “Before the Snow System I was always adding octane booster or buying 8 dollar a gallon unleaded Race fuel. Now with this system I add de-icer fluid(25%water75%methanol) I  get from Auto Zone and I forget about the octane booster and race gas. The power increase you get, well that happens in a big way. How about 33 horsepower at the rear wheels with no additional tuning on the car.Just bolt the system on and go. The system goes on very easy and if you do have a problem their Tech department is superb!!”

You can read the entire article here or visit Snow Performance’s home page here.  You can also read some other reviews about water/methanol injection here.  Anyone ever tried this system or something similar?

Below is an injection system installed in a 1987 buick.  It looks like a fun experiment to try.